Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Au Wing Kee - Burnaby

Restaurant: Au Wing Kee

Cuisine: Chinese
Last visited: March 4, 2010
Area: Burnaby, BC (Burnaby South)
5226 Kingsway
Price Range
$10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4.5
Service: 2

Ambiance: 1.5

Overall: 4

Additional comments:

  • 2 locations: Burnaby/Vancouver
  • Congee & Noodle house
  • Hole in the wall, but popular
  • A bit/quite dirty
  • Quick & cheap eats
  • The No. 9 of Burnaby, but better
  • Very familiar to Chinese locals
  • Traditional Cantonese cuisine
  • Famous for congee
  • Extensive menu
  • Lunch combos 11am-5:30pm
  • Great for snacks/late night snacks (9pm-1am)
  • Late night
  • Open Mon-Sun 11am – 1am
  • Cash only
  • Dine in/Take-out
  • Parking at rear

**Recommendation: Congee, Wonton noodles (they’re popular here although I haven’t tried it yet)

This place has been around for ages! It’s a totally hole in the wall dive that is very familiar to Chinese people. It’s pretty much the No. 9 of Burnaby, but much better. I don’t even mind No. 9 actually, you have to lower your standards for cheap late night, open 24 hour have to admit the place is packed with Chinese people all the time! It's like Hon's Won Ton Noodle House.

Au Wing Kee specializes in congee and noodles, but they offer everything from chow mien, hot pot, seafood, to late night snacks. They even have a tank filled with live seafood like crab and lobster. The food is fresh, made upon order – not gourmet, but a quick, casual bite that is very easy on the wallet.

This is more or less a tribute review to those suffering from the stomach flu, cold or virus. Too many of us have been hit. I think I was first to catch the stomach flu out of the food bloggers in Vancouver, and since then it has spread like wild fire. Everything we ordered is more or less what older generation traditional Chinese people order when they’re not feeling well. In particular the 2 types of congee we ordered are really high in nutrition and have tons of calcium, protein, and iron.

On the table:

Dried Fillet with Peanut & Spare Ribs Congee 3.5/6

  • $4.50
  • It’s not really for the Western tastes buds, but it is very traditional Chinese food. It would be probably rated higher for Chinese people.
  • The spare ribs aren’t the Western type of spare ribs that are really meaty. They’re really small and boney and the bones are what they use to flavour the congee.
  • The meat it does have is pretty chewy and the type of meat is a cheap kind. I’m not a fan, but again it is authentic and for $4.50 you’re not going to get high quality spare ribs.
  • I loved the dried fillet. Throughout the congee there are pieces of dried fish or “fillet”. It tastes like dried scallops and it’s almost jerky like. It’s salty and has a preserved fishy taste that I like.
  • The peanuts are whole peanuts and they’re really soft. It gives the congee a little nuttiness.
  • The congee itself is really delicious and creamy. They do a great job with that here. It’s really infused with all the flavours of the ingredients used.

Dace Fish Ball & Watercress Congee 2/6

  • $4.95 – rating would be much higher for Chinese people
  • This isn’t for the Western taste buds either. However for Chinese taste buds, they do a pretty good job with this congee.
  • I was not a fan of this type of congee.
  • It’s loaded with 8 dace fish balls are very fresh and made in house. It’s a mixture of fish paste, dried orange peel, scallions and white pepper. Very nutritious...but for me not delicious. What I hated was that the fish bones are pureed into the mixture and I could taste and bite into them. It was like scales. However for Chinese people that’s a good thing because it means it’s freshly ground up fish. The orange peel was very strong, but not bitter…but it’s just not for me.
  • At the bottom of the bowl is the watercress. It’s thrown in raw, but cooks with the hot congee poured on top.
  • The congee base is great. It’s lighter in taste than the spare rib congee, but still nice and creamy.

Sautéed Lettuce in Slice Pepper w/ Preserved Bean Curd Sauce 5/6

  • This is again for Chinese taste buds – I really like this dish. It’s acquired though. I just love it as a side dish with congee.
  • The myth or that spicy is good because it kills germs...also it makes you sweat so you sweat out the bad stuff. Chinese and I think Indian also believe that ginger kills again "sick people food". Spicy also makes you cough, so don't have it if you're coughing...and I don't think spicy is good for stomach flus doesn't make sense to me...?
  • It’s loaded with long strands of ginger (in photo) and round slices of green chili peppers. It has a preserved salty taste and it’s creamy, spicy (not too spicy) and very aromatic with lots of flavours.
  • The green chili peppers aren’t really spicy though. They’re quite mild and I could eat them whole.
  • It’s a super soupy/saucy dish, but it’s not too oily and I really enjoyed it. There's no actual pieces of bean curd in it, it's just preserved/fermented bean curd sauce - so the flavour is infused in the sauce.
  • The taste is very pungent. I had the dish at No. 9 and it’s done a bit differently. I liked the one at Au Wing Kee better.

Au Wing Kee (Burnaby) on Urbanspoon


  1. What perfect timing for this post! LOL... Dirty restaurant... Ha, I'm Chinese and I'll still eat here. With that being said, Congee Noodle King or Congee Noodle House have superior food than Au Wing Kee. But in a pinch, it's closer to me and I'll still eat the filthy food they serve...

  2. Congee Noodle House! I do like that place! Chinese ppl should have really good immune systems! Did you know rice left on the counter shouldn't be eaten? I never get sick from it...but apparently it's a major health risk!